The United Nations has been playing a good offices role in Yemen since its transition in 2011. The UN’s efforts are led by the Special Envoy to the Secretary-General, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. In June 2015, the Envoy convened a first round of peace talks in Geneva. A second round of intra-Yemeni discussions took place in Switzerland in December 2015. On 10 April 2016, a cessation of hostilities came into effect between the parties to the conflict. Peace negotiations resumed in Kuwait on 21 April 2016 under the auspices of the UN with the aim to reach an agreement on ending the violence and devastation in the country.
One of the poorest countries in the Middle East, Yemen has been experiencing a humanitarian crisis fuelled by conflict and widespread insecurity, large-scale displacement, civil strife, political instability, chronic food shortages, a breakdown of social services, endemic poverty and refugee influxes. The situation has been rapidly deteriorating since the country formed a new Government, in November 2014, aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy.